There’s an old adage in MMA that states “If you can cut down an extra weight class, you probably should.” Actually, it’s not really an old adage, I just made it up. But it does sound kinda wise, doesn’t it? Unless you happen to be in the UFC middleweight division, in which case it might be best to stick around and pray that Anderson Silva leaves before you ‘earn’ a title shot. Because welterweight is full to the tits with way tougher competition.
But there are tons of guys in the UFC who probably should cut down a class, and surprise surprise … lots of them are lightweights. The reason they stick around despite the size disadvantage is that most of them don’t want to end up fighting for the WEC in front of 800 people at the Hard Rock Casino. Of course, they won’t admit that. They just say what Frankie Edgar says:
“Obviously I was the smaller fighter,” says the 5-foot-6 Edgar, who will face former title contender Hermes Franca (Pictures) on July 19 at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas. “That might have been part of the reason [for the loss], but I don’t think it was 100 percent that he beat me because he was bigger than me.”
Edgar says that he is currently around 165 pounds, and that he can make the cut to featherweight at 145 pounds. However, he doesn’t plan on leaving the UFC’s lightweight division any time soon.
“I’m comfortable where I’m at,” he says.
It’s too bad that Zuffa isn’t setting incentives for bringing the smaller lightweights down to featherweight. The lightweight division is a bit of a clusterfuck and a lot of it has to do with the fact that there are so many guys who really shouldn’t be fighting at 155. Tyson Griffin, Clay Guida, Frankie Edgar, Hermes Franca … the list goes on and on. They do well enough until they face a ‘real’ lightweight like Sean Sherk or Gray Maynard – guys who cut like an emo 17 year old. And then they get pushed around the cage and laid on and they lose. Not because they’re not as good, but because when you’re at UFC level, you’re just not able to take out elite fighters who have a big weight advantage over you.